—OSHA Briefing Paper—
Citations for U.S. Forest Service
AA - Air Attack
AAR - After Action Review
ADFMO - Assistant District Fire Management Officer
BI - Burning Index
BLM - Bureau of Land Management
CID - Central Idaho Dispatch
DFMO - District Fire Management Officer
ERC - Energy Release Component
FMO - Fire Management Officer
FMP - Fire Management Plan
GBIO - Great Basin Incident Organizer
HAP - Hazard Abatement Plan (for Thirtymile Fire hazards)
H-2 - Helispot #2
IC - Incident Commander. Type 5 (smallest) to Type 1 (largest)
IRPG - Incident Response Pocket Guide
LCES - Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, Safety Zones
MTDC - Missoula Technology & Development Center
NFDRS - National Fire Danger Rating System
NIFC - National Interagency Fire Center
NWS - National Weather Service
NWCG - National Wildfire Coordinating Group
PPE - Personal Protective Equipment
RH - Relative Humidity
RAWS - Remote Automated Weather Station
SCNF - Salmon-Challis National Forest
USFS - United States Forest Service
WFSA - Wildland Fire Situational Analysis (pronounce woof-suh)
WUI - Wildland Urban Interface (pronounced woo-ey)
Air Attack: Provides aerial support and overview of fire and aviation operations. The air attack for the Cramer fire was a passenger of a fixed wing air plane.
Air Tanker: A fixed-wing aircraft equipped to drop fire retardants or suppressants.
Agency: Any federal, state, or county government organization participating with jurisdictional responsibilities.
Anchor Point: An advantageous location, usually a barrier to fire spread, from which to start building a fire line. An anchor point is used to reduce the chance of firefighters being flanked by fire.
Aspect: Direction toward which a slope faces.
Blow-up: A sudden increase in fire intensity or rate of spread strong enough to prevent direct control or to upset control plans. Blow-ups are often accompanied by violent convection and may have other characteristics of a fire storm. (See Flare-up.)
Brush: A collective term that refers to stands of vegetation dominated by shrubby, woody plants, or low growing trees, usually of a type undesirable for livestock or timber management.
Brush Fire: A fire burning in vegetation that is predominantly shrubs, brush and scrub growth.
Bucket Drops: The dropping of fire retardants or suppressants from specially designed buckets slung below a helicopter.
Burn Out: Setting fire inside a control line to widen it or consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.
Burning Conditions: The state of the combined factors of the environment that affect fire behavior in a specified fuel type.
Burning Index (BI): An estimate of the potential difficulty of fire containment as it relates to the flame length at the most rapidly spreading portion of a fire's perimeter.
Burning Period: That part of each 24-hour period when fires spread most rapidly, typically from 10:00 a.m. to sundown.
Central Idaho Dispatch (CID): Located within the Salmon-Challis National Forest Supervisors Office in Salmon, ID.
Cold Trailing: A method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire, digging out every live spot, and trenching any live edge.
Command Staff: The command staff consists of the information officer, safety officer and liaison officer. They report directly to the incident commander and may have assistants.
Contain a fire: A fuel break around the fire has been completed. This break may include natural barriers or manually and/or mechanically constructed line.
Control a fire: The complete extinguishment of a fire, including spot fires. Fireline has been strengthened so that flare-ups from within the perimeter of the fire will not break through this line.
Control Line: All built or natural fire barriers and treated fire edge used to control a fire.
Creeping Fire: Fire burning with a low flame and spreading slowly.
Crew Boss: A person in supervisory charge of usually 16 to 21 firefighters and responsible for their performance, safety, and welfare.
Crown Fire (Crowning): The movement of fire through the crowns of trees or shrubs more or less independently of the surface fire.
Curing: Drying and browning of herbaceous vegetation or slash.
Dead Fuels: Fuels with no living tissue in which moisture content is governed almost entirely by atmospheric moisture (relative humidity and precipitation), dry-bulb temperature, and solar radiation.
Deployment: See Fire Shelter Deployment.
Direct Attack: Any treatment of burning fuel, such as by wetting, smothering, or chemically quenching the fire or by physically separating burning from unburned fuel.
Dispatch: The implementation of a command decision to move a resource or resources from one place to another.
Dispatcher: A person employed who receives reports of discovery and status of fires, confirms their locations, takes action promptly to provide people and equipment likely to be needed for control in first attack, and sends them to the proper place.
Dispatch Center: A facility from which resources are directly assigned to an incident. CID — Central Idaho Dispatch.
District Ranger: The primary line-officer who oversees activities within a district. Normally each forest is divided into several ranger districts.
District Fire Management Officer (DFMO): Fire manager for a ranger district.
Division: Divisions are used to divide an incident into geographical areas of operation. Divisions are established when the number of resources exceeds the span-of-control of the operations chief. A division is located with the Incident Command System organization between the branch and the task force/strike team.
Drop Zone: Target area for air tankers, helitankers, and cargo dropping.
Drought Index: A number representing net effect of evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation in producing cumulative moisture depletion in deep duff or upper soil layers.
Energy Release Component (ERC): The computed total heat released per unit area (British thermal units per square foot) within the fire front at the head of a moving fire.
Entrapment: A situation where personnel are unexpectedly caught in a fire behavior-related, life-threatening position where planned escape routes or safety zones are absent, inadequate, or compromised. An entrapment may or may not include deployment of a fire shelter for its intended purpose. These situations may or may not result in injury. They include "near misses."
Equilibrium Moisture Content: Moisture content that a fuel particle will attain if exposed for an infinite period in an environment of specified constant temperature and humidity. When a fuel particle reaches equilibrium moisture content, net exchange of moisture between it and the environment is zero.
Escape Route: A preplanned and understood route firefighters take to move to a safety zone or other low-risk area, such as an already burned area, previously constructed safety area, a meadow that won't burn, natural rocky area that is large enough to take refuge without being burned. When escape routes deviate from a defined physical path, they should be clearly marked (flagged).
Escaped Fire: A fire which has exceeded or is expected to exceed initial attack capabilities or prescription.
Extended Attack Incident: A wildland fire that has not been contained or controlled by initial attack forces and for which more firefighting resources are arriving, en route, or being ordered by the initial attack incident commander.
Extreme Fire Behavior: "Extreme" implies a level of fire behavior characteristics that ordinarily precludes methods of direct control action. One of more of the following is usually involved: high rate of spread, prolific crowning and/or spotting, presence of fire whirls, strong convection column. Predictability is difficult because such fires often exercise some degree of influence on their environment and behave erratically, sometimes dangerously.
Faller: A person who fells trees. Also called a sawyer or cutter.
Fine (Light) Fuels: Fast-drying fuels, generally with a comparatively high surface area-to-volume ratio, which are less than 1/4-inch in diameter and have a timelag of one hour or less. These fuels readily ignite and are rapidly consumed by fire when dry.
Fire Behavior: The manner in which a fire reacts to the influences of fuel, weather and topography.
Fire Behavior Forecast: Prediction of probable fire behavior, usually prepared by a Fire Behavior Officer, in support of fire suppression or prescribed burning operations.
Fire Behavior Specialist: A person responsible to the Planning Section Chief for establishing a weather data collection system and for developing fire behavior predictions based on fire history, fuel, weather and topography.
Fire Break: A natural or constructed barrier used to stop or check fires that may occur, or to provide a control line from which to work.
Fire Crew: An organized group of firefighters under the leadership of a crew leader or other designated official.
Fire Front: The part of a fire within which continuous flaming combustion is taking place. Unless otherwise specified the fire front is assumed to be the leading edge of the fire perimeter. In ground fires, the fire front may be mainly smoldering combustion.
Fire Intensity: A general term relating to the heat energy released by a fire.
Fire Line: A linear fire barrier that is scraped or dug to mineral soil.
Fire Load: The number and size of fires historically experienced on a specified unit over a specified period (usually one day) at a specified index of fire danger.
Fire Management Officer (FMO)
Fire Management Plan (FMP): A strategic plan that defines a program to manage wildland and prescribed fires and documents the Fire Management Program in the approved land use plan. The plan is supplemented by operational plans such as preparedness plans, preplanned dispatch plans, prescribed fire plans, and prevention plans. (NOTE: In this case, the FMP was developed for forest wide usage.)
Fire Perimeter: The entire outer edge or boundary of a fire.
Fire Season: 1) Period(s) of the year during which wildland fires are likely to occur, spread, and affect resource values sufficient to warrant organized fire management activities. 2) A legally enacted time during which burning activities are regulated by state or local authority.
Fire Shelter: An aluminized tent offering protection by means of reflecting radiant heat and providing a volume of breathable air in a fire entrapment situation. Fire shelters should only be used in life-threatening situations, as a last resort.
Fire Shelter Deployment: The removing of a fire shelter from its case and using it as protection against fire.
Fire Weather: Weather conditions that influence fire ignition, behavior and suppression.
Firefighting Resources: All people and major items of equipment that can or potentially could be assigned to fires.
Flame Height: The average maximum vertical extension of flames at the leading edge of the fire front. Occasional flashes that rise above the general level of flames are not considered. This distance is less than the flame length if flames are tilted due to wind or slope.
Flame Length: The distance between the flame tip and the midpoint of the flame depth at the base of the flame (generally the ground surface); an indicator of fire intensity.
Flaming Front: The zone of a moving fire where the combustion is primarily flaming. Behind this flaming zone combustion is primarily glowing. Light fuels typically have a shallow flaming front, whereas heavy fuels have a deeper front. Also called fire front.
Flanks of a Fire: The parts of a fire's perimeter that are roughly parallel to the main direction of spread.
Flare-up: Any sudden acceleration of fire spread or intensification of a fire. Unlike a blow-up, a flare-up lasts a relatively short time and does not radically change control plans.
Flash Fuels: Fuels such as grass, leaves, draped pine needles, fern, tree moss and some kinds of slash, that ignite readily and are consumed rapidly when dry. Also called fine fuels.
Fuel: Combustible material. Includes, vegetation, such as grass, leaves, ground litter, plants, shrubs and trees, that feed a fire. (See Surface Fuels.)
Fuel Bed: An array of fuels usually constructed with specific loading, depth and particle size to meet experimental requirements; also, commonly used to describe the fuel composition in natural settings.
Fuel Loading: The amount of fuel present expressed quantitatively in terms of weight of fuel per unit area.
Fuel Model: Simulated fuel complex (or combination of vegetation types) for which all fuel descriptors required for the solution of a mathematical rate of spread model have been specified.
Fuel Moisture (Fuel Moisture Content): The quantity of moisture in fuel expressed as a percentage of the weight when thoroughly dried at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fuel Type: An identifiable association of fuel elements of a distinctive plant species, form, size, arrangement, or other characteristics that will cause a predictable rate of fire spread or difficulty of control under specified weather conditions.
Fusee: A colored flare designed as a railway warning device and widely used to ignite suppression and prescription fires.
Great Basin Incident Organizer (GBIO): 14 page booklet created by and for fire incident use in Great Basin / Intermountain Region
Ground Fuel: All combustible materials below the surface litter, including duff, tree or shrub roots, punchy wood, peat, and sawdust, that normally support a glowing combustion without flame.
Haines Index: An atmospheric index used to indicate the potential for wildfire growth by measuring the stability and dryness of the air over a fire.
Hand Line: A fireline built with hand tools.
Head of a Fire: The side of the fire having the fastest rate of spread.
Heavy Fuels: Fuels of large diameter such as snags, logs, large limb wood, that ignite and are consumed more slowly than flash fuels.
Helibase: The main location within the general incident area for parking, fueling, maintaining, and loading helicopters. The helibase is usually located at or near the incident base.
Helispot: A temporary landing spot for helicopters. Helispot 1 (H-1) and Helispot 2 (H-2) involved in the Cramer Fire.
Helitack: The use of helicopters to transport crews, equipment, and fire retardants or suppressants to the fire line during the initial stages of a fire.
Helitack Crew: A group of firefighters trained in the technical and logistical use of helicopters for fire suppression.
Hotspot: A particular active part of a fire.
Hotspotting: Reducing or stopping the spread of fire at points of particularly rapid rate of spread or special threat, generally the first step in prompt control, with emphasis on first priorities.
Incident: A human-caused or natural occurrence, such as wildland fire, that requires emergency service action to prevent or reduce the loss of life or damage to property or natural resources.
Incident Action Plan (IAP): Contains objectives reflecting the overall incident strategy and specific tactical actions and supporting information for the next operational period. The plan may be oral or written. When written, the plan may have a number of attachments, including: incident objectives, organization assignment list, division assignment, incident radio communication plan, medical plan, traffic plan, safety plan, and incident map.
Incident Command Post (ICP): Location at which primary command functions are executed. The ICP may be co-located with the incident base or other incident facilities.
Incident Command System (ICS): The combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedure and communications operating within a common organizational structure, with responsibility for the management of assigned resources to effectively accomplish stated objectives pertaining to an incident.
Incident Commander (IC): Individual responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site.
Incident Management Team: The incident commander and appropriate general or command staff personnel assigned to manage an incident.
Incident Objectives: Statements of guidance and direction necessary for selection of appropriate strategy(ies), and the tactical direction of resources. Incident objectives are based on realistic expectations of what can be accomplished when all allocated resources have been effectively deployed.
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG): A pocket-sized spiral bound booklet carried by supervisors and firefighters. Contains checklists, safety and briefing information, as well as references to guidelines to be followed during fire and aviation operations. (National Wildfire Coordinating Group, NFES 1077, PMS 461. January 2002)
Initial Attack: The actions taken by the first resources to arrive at a wildfire to protect lives and property, and prevent further extension of the fire.
Job Hazard Analysis: This analysis of a project is completed by staff to identify hazards to employees and the public. It identifies hazards, corrective actions and the required safety equipment to ensure public and employee safety.
Knock down: To reduce the flame or heat on the more vigorously burning parts of a fire edge.
Ladder Fuels: Fuels which provide vertical continuity between strata, thereby allowing fire to carry from surface fuels into the crowns of trees or shrubs with relative ease. They help initiate and assure the continuation of crowning.
Large Fire: 1) For statistical purposes, a fire burning more than a specified area of land e.g., 300 acres. 2) A fire burning with a size and intensity such that its behavior is determined by interaction between its own convection column and weather conditions above the surface.
Lead Plane: Aircraft with pilot used to make dry runs over the target area to check wing and smoke conditions and topography and to lead air tankers to targets and supervise their drops.
Light (Fine) Fuels: Fast-drying fuels, generally with a comparatively high surface area-to-volume ratio, which are less than 1/4-inch in diameter and have a timelag of one hour or less. These fuels readily ignite and are rapidly consumed by fire when dry;
Litter: Top layer of the forest, scrubland, or grassland floor, directly above the fermentation layer, composed of loose debris of dead sticks, branches, twigs, and recently fallen leaves or needles, little altered in structure by decomposition.
Live Fuels: Living plants, such as trees, grasses, and shrubs, in which the seasonal moisture content cycle is controlled largely by internal physiological mechanisms, rather than by external weather influences.
Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, Safety Zones (LCES): A simplified method of mitigating core wildland firefighting safety hazards.
Missoula Technology & Development Center (MTDC)
Mop-up: To make a fire safe or reduce residual smoke after the fire has been controlled by extinguishing or removing burning material along or near the control line, felling snags, or moving logs so they won't roll downhill.
National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS): A uniform fire danger rating system that focuses on the environmental factors that control the moisture content of fuels.
National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC): Located in Boise, ID. Central location for core wildland firefighting agency coordination and planning.
National Weather Service (NWS)
National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG): A group formed under the direction of the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior and comprised of representatives of the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Association of State Foresters. The group's purpose is to facilitate coordination and effectiveness of wildland fire activities and provide a forum to discuss, recommend action, or resolve issues and problems of substantive nature. NWCG is the certifying body for all courses in the National Fire Curriculum.
Nomex®: Trade name for a fire resistant synthetic material used in the manufacturing of flight suits and pants and shirts used by firefighters (see Aramid).
Normal Fire Season: 1) A season when weather, fire danger, and number and distribution of fires are about average. 2) Period of the year that normally comprises the fire season.
Operations Branch Director: Person under the direction of the operations section chief who is responsible for implementing that portion of the incident action plan appropriate to the branch.
Operational Period: The period of time scheduled for execution of a given set of tactical actions as specified in the Incident Action Plan. Operational periods can be of various lengths, although usually not more than 24 hours.
Overhead: People assigned to supervisory positions, including incident commanders, command staff, general staff, directors, supervisors, and unit leaders.
Peak Fire Season: That period of the fire season during which fires are expected to ignite most readily, to burn with greater than average intensity, and to create damages at an unacceptable level.
Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE): All firefighting personnel must be equipped with proper equipment and clothing in order to mitigate the risk of injury from, or exposure to, hazardous conditions encountered while working. PPE includes, but is not limited to: 8-inch high-laced leather boots with lug soles, fire shelter, hard hat with chin strap, goggles, ear plugs, aramid shirts and trousers, leather gloves and individual first aid kits.
Preparedness: Condition or degree of being ready to cope with a potential fire situation
Pulaski: A combination chopping and trenching tool, which combines a single-bitted axe-blade with a narrow adze-like trenching blade fitted to a straight handle. Useful for grubbing or trenching in duff and matted roots. Well-balanced for chopping.
Rappelling: Technique of landing specifically trained firefighters from hovering helicopters; involves sliding down ropes with the aid of friction-producing devices.
Rate of Spread: The relative activity of a fire in extending its horizontal dimensions. It is expressed as a rate of increase of the total perimeter of the fire, as rate of forward spread of the fire front, or as rate of increase in area, depending on the intended use of the information. Usually it is expressed in chains or acres per hour for a specific period in the fire's history.
Reburn: The burning of an area that has been previously burned but that contains flammable fuel that ignites when burning conditions are more favorable; an area that has reburned.
Red Book: Also commonly referred to as the "fireline handbook." Revised in January 2003 as the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations 2003.
Red Card: Fire qualification card issued to fire rated persons showing their training needs and their qualifications to fill specified fire suppression and support positions in a large fire suppression or incident organization.
Red Flag Warning: Term used by fire weather forecasters to alert forecast users to an ongoing or imminent critical fire weather pattern.
Rehabilitation: The activities necessary to repair damage or disturbance caused by wildland fires or the fire suppression activity.
Relative Humidity (RH): The ratio of the amount of moisture in the air, to the maximum amount of moisture that air would contain if it were saturated. The ratio of the actual vapor pressure to the saturated vapor pressure.
Remote Automatic Weather Station (RAWS): An apparatus that automatically acquires, processes, and stores local weather data for later transmission to the GOES Satellite, from which the data is re-transmitted to an earth-receiving station for use in the National Fire Danger Rating System.
Resources: 1} Personnel, equipment, services and supplies available, or potentially available, for assignment to incidents. 2} The natural resources of an area, such as timber, grass, watershed values, recreation values, and wildlife habitat.
Resource Management Plan (RMP): A document prepared by field office staff with public participation and approved by field office managers that provides general guidance and direction for land management activities at a field office. The RMP identifies the need for fire in a particular area and for a specific benefit.
Resource Order: An order placed for firefighting or support resources.
Retardant: A substance or chemical agent which reduced the flammability of combustibles.
Run (of a fire): The rapid advance of the head of a fire with a marked change in fire line intensity and rate of spread from that noted before and after the advance.
Running: A rapidly spreading surface fire with a well-defined head.
Safety Zone: An area cleared of flammable materials used for escape in the event the line is outflanked or in case a spot fire causes fuels outside the control line to render the line unsafe. In firing operations, crews progress so as to maintain a safety zone close at hand allowing the fuels inside the control line to be consumed before going ahead. Safety zones may also be constructed as integral parts of fuel breaks; they are greatly enlarged areas which can be used with relative safety by firefighters and their equipment in the event of a blowup in the vicinity.
Salmon Challis National Forest (SCNF): Located in east central Idaho near the Montana border. Part of the Forest Service Intermountain Region 4.
Scratch Line: An unfinished preliminary fire line hastily established or built as an emergency measure to check the spread of fire.
Severity Funding: Funds provided to increase wildland fire suppression response capability necessitated by abnormal weather patterns; extended drought, or other events causing abnormal increase in the fire potential and/or danger.
Size-up: To evaluate a fire to determine a course of action for fire suppression.
Sling Load: Any cargo carried beneath a helicopter and attached by a lead line and swivel.
Slop-over: A fire edge that crosses a control line or natural barrier intended to contain the fire.
Smoldering Fire: A fire burning without flame and barely spreading.
Snag: A standing dead tree or part of a dead tree from which at least the smaller branches have fallen.
Spot Fire: A fire ignited outside the perimeter of the main fire by flying sparks or embers.
Spot Weather Forecast: A special forecast issued to fit the time, topography, and weather of each specific fire. These forecasts are issued upon request of the user agency and are more detailed, timely, and specific than zone forecasts.
Spotter: In smokejumping (and rappelling), the person responsible for selecting drop targets and supervising all aspects of dropping smokejumpers (or lowering rappellers from a helicopter).
Spotting: Behavior of a fire producing sparks or embers that are carried by the wind and start new fires beyond the zone of direct ignition by the main fire.
Strategy: The science and art of command as applied to the overall planning and conduct of an incident.
Strike Team: Specified combinations of the same kind and type of resources, with common communications, and a leader.
Strike Team Leader: Person responsible to a division/group supervisor for performing tactical assignments given to the strike team.
Suppression: All the work of extinguishing or containing a fire, beginning with its discovery.
Surface Fuels: Loose surface litter on the soil surface, normally consisting of fallen leaves or needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches that have not yet decayed enough to lose their identity; also grasses, forbs, low and medium shrubs, tree seedlings, heavier branchwood, downed logs, and stumps interspersed with or partially replacing the litter.
Tactics: Deploying and directing resources on an incident to accomplish the objectives designated by strategy.
Torching: The ignition and flare-up of a tree or small group of trees, usually from bottom to top.
Type: The capability of a firefighting resource in comparison to another type. Type 1 usually means a greater capability due to power, size, or capacity.
Uncontrolled Fire: Any fire which threatens to destroy life, property, or natural resources, and
Underburn: A fire that consumes surface fuels but not trees or shrubs. (See Surface Fuels.
Weather Information and Management System (WIMS): An interactive computer system designed to accommodate the weather information needs of all federal and state natural resource management agencies. Provides timely access to weather forecasts, current and historical weather data, the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS), and the National Interagency Fire Management Integrated Database (NIFMID).
Wildland Fire: Any non-structure fire, other than prescribed fire, that occurs in the wildland.
Wildland Fire Situation Analysis (WFSA): A decision-making process that evaluates alternative suppression strategies against selected environmental, social, political, and economic criteria. Provides a record of decisions.
Wildland Fire Use: The management of naturally ignited wildland fires to accomplish specific pre-stated resource management objectives in predefined geographic areas outlined in Fire Management Plans.
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI): The line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels.
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